Song Flash Fiction ~ Gods of Ocean Tides

First song fiction of the year. God of Ocean Tides by Counting Crows. To me, this is not a happy song… Anyway, you can check the video out below, if, like me, you’ve never heard it. And here is the resulting story…

It’s time…

That’s what everyone told Ethan. It was time. To move on, let go, abandon that part of him that wasn’t ever coming back. Cut it out like some kind of cancerous cell and pray the operation was a success. That it hadn’t infected him to the point he’d never be free. Never find a way to keep living.

Like he fucking cared. There was no living—not without her. So all those threats—that he’d spiral into some dark abyss. Lose years of his life in his depression. Time he’d never get back—didn’t hold any weight. They were like her—ghosts that followed him down the highway. Mirages that faded the closer they got.

The way he wanted to fade. Just disappear along with the pain. All his years of fighting. Of facing death. It seemed so fucking poetic that he was the one who’d survived. Who’d crawled out of the wreckage. Who had to face every damn day wondering why.

The pair of dogtags hanging around his rearview mirror clinked as he stopped his truck. Ethan looked over at them. At the way they kept swaying, reflecting bits of the setting sun. That’s all he had. All that was left. Two silver pieces of metal. The only part of her he’d gotten back. He’d tried. Had searched the damn area until he’d passed out from the blood loss, but she’d just been…gone. No body. Nothing but her tags and endless questions. Unfinished business that was slowly driving him mad.

The sound of the water drew him out of his seat—down to the beach. Gulls cried overhead, the scent of brine heavy in the evening air. A light breeze rippled the surface, distorting the orange and red lines reflecting off the sky. He’d always loved the ocean. Had found solace in it. Now…

Maybe it was time. Not to move on but to stop the pain. Finish what that damn war had started. Join her.

She’d be angry if she could hear his thoughts. He knew that. She’d always been so much stronger than him. Always rising to any challenge. Finding the good in everything—even the shit that crippled others. He’d loved that about her.

He looked at the tags. He wasn’t sure why he’d grabbed them. Maybe he’d subconsciously wanted them with him when he found the balls to end it. Walk into that water and never look back. It was easy. All he needed to do was take that first step.

“Lieutenant Adams.”

He spun, eyeing the man standing on the edge of the boardwalk. Hard eyes. Strong stance. No uniform but that wasn’t anything new.

The guy glanced at the water, then back to Ethan. “You’re a hard man to find.”

“Obviously not hard enough, since we’re having this conversation.”

“I was…motivated. I was hoping we could talk.”

“I’m done talking.” He turned. Gripped those tags harder—until he edges bit into his palm.

“Perhaps you just haven’t found the right topic to talk about?”

The hairs on Ethan’s neck prickled. He’d spent years honing his senses. And he knew when he was being played. “Whatever it is you think I want, you’re wrong. Fuck off. I’m done.”

He took a step, the surging water rushing against his boots. This was it. How it had to end.

“If you’re hellbent on drowning, I won’t stop you, but I thought you might want to know the truth before that happened. Closure and all that.”

Shit. The guy knew how to press Ethan’s buttons. He looked at him over his shoulder, the edges of his pants dipping into the ocean. “Okay, I’ll bite. What truth?”

“About how someone can simply disappear without a trace. Especially when everyone else was there. Dead, but there.”

Three steps, and the asshole was in his grasp. Fingers tightened around his throat, the bastard’s eyes wide. There was movement in Ethan’s peripheral vision, but he didn’t care. He’d make sure the fucker died before he did. “Talk. Now.”

Ethan loosened his grip just enough for the guy to get some air—form words.

He didn’t grab at Ethan’s arm. Try to break his hold. Instead, he smiled. “Anna Cartwright. She’s not dead. And if you ever want to see her, again, you’ll come with me. Or quit and keep walking. I don’t really care either way.”

Ethan dragged the guy closer. “If you’re fucking with me…”

“Is that a yes to talking?”

“Yeah, it’s a yes. And if I don’t like what I hear, you’re dead. Doesn’t matter how many guys you have shadowing you, I’ll kill them all. It’s what I do best.”

“I know. That’s why I’m hear. To swing a deal. Anna in exchange for what you do best.” He waved at Ethan’s truck. “Get in. We have a long way to go.”

And that’s it for me. It did not go at all how I thought it would but… that’s part of the process. Here’s who else is playing along this week. Enjoy.

Bronwyn | Jessica | Gwendolyn | Siobhan | Kayleigh

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